Redd Holt

The Other Side of the Moon

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This 1975 slab by drummer Redd Holt was his second outing after the disintegration of the Young-Holt Unlimited rhythm team. Tighter and more adventurous than Isaac, Isaac, Isaac, its predecessor, Holt goes for the heart of rhythm here, letting it flower over the top of all the other arrangements. As a way of signifying this, he opens the set with a short but deeply funky and soulful rendition of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff." With less than two-and-a-half minutes of clock time, it's get out and go or nothing and Holt makes his tom-toms pop like snares, keeping only the slamming guitaristry of Randy Ford on top with him. Elsewhere, as on "Gimme Some Mo," Holt intertwines with keyboardist Eugene Curry to allow bassist Jose Holmes to cut the groove fast and deep, popping it all over the sonic spectrum like Bootsy Collins but with more finesse. One of the album's standouts is the spaced-out jazz-funk of the title track, with Curry's B-3 offering huge chords that are vamped on by Holt, who carries the beat into the stratosphere and is responded to by some truly inspired single-string playing from Ford. The phase shifters on the drums are a bit annoying and date the track and the album, but it's a small complaint with music that's this hot. There's also a bit of smooth Latin groove on "Tica Chita" and a killer cover of Billy Preston's "Nothing From Nothing" that showcases Curry's many keyboard skills, with Holmes playing like he was the bass player in Sly Stone's band. This is a solid little album, wrapped up jelly tight, that embodies the best of easy-grooving funky soul from the mid-'70s and, with the exception of its extraneous sound effects, has aged extremely well.

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